Globally renowned network hardware provider, Cisco Systems, Inc., in a bid to offer its customers enhanced IT service, plans to integrate its SD-WAN (software-defined wide-area networking) software with security features while improving support for cloud services.
As per Ramesh Prabagaran, Cisco’s Senior Director of Product Management, SD-WAN customers have reportedly been compelled to choose between enhancing security to their SD-WAN in exchange for application performance or vice-versa. With the proposed merger the company is looking to help customers solve the security and complexity issues at the cloud edge where networking, multi-cloud and security platforms meet, he said.
As per sources familiar with the matter, Cisco will be adding support for its Umbrella security system to its SD-WAN software that runs on top of the IOS XE operating system which powers its core branch, enterprise and campus switches and routers.
Cisco claims that their Umbrella system, as a cloud-based SIG (secure internet gateway), would effectively stop current and upcoming threats over all ports and protocols, further blocking access to malicious domains, IPs, URLs, and files before a connection is ever established.
Reportedly, Umbrella’s key features come from IT company and service provider, OpenDNS which Cisco bought for $635 million in 2015. OpenDNS offers a seamless cloud service that stops customers from connecting to unsafe internet IP addresses like those linked with criminal activity, botnets and spiteful downloads.
The company’s Umbrella platform, being backed by Cisco’s Talos Security Intelligence and Research Group, will effectively block access to malicious destinations before a connection is ever established said Prabagaran.
Advanced security is now being included in Cisco SD-WAN devices and can seamlessly be controlled through a single pane of glass, significantly simplifying the control and management of the cloud edge and SD-WAN platforms, he said.
As per reliable sources, upgraded security of SD-WAN packages will be a key feature for Cisco and other SD-WAN providers in future because of the increasing use of Internet as a primary transport mechanism.